Design means many things to many people, especially since the explosion of digital. But what does it mean at &us, and what do we look for in a designer? There’s not a single answer to that question.
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We asked the people who could give us the most insight into what that answer might look like – our design team – with questions like “What does being a designer at &us look like?”, “What do you actually do?” And “what’s the best bit about your job?”
A word cloud of their responses showed us everything you’d expect to see like Design, Make, Product, Solutions, UX/UI and Build standing out, others took centre stage too. Words like Learn, People, Experimentation and Opportunity, alongside Collaboration, Feedback and Support.
It illustrates the point that Design isn’t just what our designers do, it’s a mindset and approach, a way of looking at things and an attitude. Because being good at design isn’t just your output, it’s how you work with others – both your team and your clients – it’s about being curious and interested, getting stuck into challenges and trying stuff out even when you don’t have all the answers.
One of the underlying principles of our DNA at &us is Learn through Making, a principle that applies both to our team and how we work with our clients. We learn together with our clients in the challenge, testing and experimenting until we get to an answer. And it’s also how our team grows and develops their own skills, that they can then bring to future projects. The approach ‘hire for attitude, train for skills’ is very much a part of how we view potential team members.
So what did our designers say about their work? Here’s what we asked them and some of what they said:
What does design mean at &us?
“Design means learning through making. It’s trying something, getting right or wrong, then learning from it.“
What kind of work does your job involve?
“UX Research + UI design for B2B and B2C products and solutions. Design experimentation at pace”
“it’s a mixed bag… a bit of graphic design, product design, plus the occasional workshop facilitation.”
“It’s a discipline of understanding what our client needs, what problems they need to solve and going away to bring solutions to fruition.”
What’s the best bit about your job?
“Learning about different topics and interacting with different people. It’s never boring.”
“The trial and error, the experimentation, the collaboration, the iterations, the feedback, the tools/software, the sketching. All of it. The building too. I love being able to take a design through to where it becomes functional. That something people can use.
But it’s also the moment when everything clicks after hours of being stuck. And also when the client and/or my peers like what I’ve produced”
What’s the best thing about your fellow design colleagues?
“I work with a delightful bunch of people. There’s no ego, and everyone will lean in and support each other. They’ve all come from different backgrounds and have unique skill sets, which is so valuable – we have rich opportunities to grow from each other.”
“They are just lovely. You don’t have to be afraid of being yourself. They are all there if you need them. I would happily sit on an 8 hour flight with each and every one of them!”
What makes a good designer at &us?
“They look out for their fellow colleagues. They are always hungry to learn and are curious to explore and improve. They don’t settle for the ways things are and aren’t afraid to ask the ‘stupid’ questions.”
“Can deliver consistent quality at pace in their field, an appetite for experimentation, can adapt to different environment quickly, not afraid to take on new challenges, an eye for details, no ego”
“Being curious, proactive and eager to learn and collaborate. We don’t just execute/produce – we look for strategic thinkers and problem solvers”
Why do you like being a designer at &us?
“it’s about having opportunities to work for companies with an ambitious and innovative vision; that have a positive impact on the world and that enable me to solve complex problems through a design thinking process where I can unleash my creativity. And to do all of that surrounded by talented individuals from all disciplines that I can learn from.”
The ultimate test of any role though, is how you’d describe what you do to your mum. And we love this explanation we had
“I make digital products which simplify lives.”
How about you &us? visit our careers hub